Including an exclusive track "Le Silence d'Anna" from an old recording session.
A2 poster and printed inner sleeve.
Limited to 500 copies.
(Description by J. Campbell)
Released on CD in 2005, “L’alliance Des Venins” has long been considered by many to be among the most prominent recordings in the canon of French Black Metal. While Darvulia’s influence may not be as widely recognized as some other French acts such as Peste Noire or those in the LLN camp, the band’s 15 years of existence is a testament to the power of the music. That the band only has eight official releases (including just three full-lengths) to its name during that time is evidence of the deliberate manner by which Darvulia sets about writing and recording material and explains the remarkably high quality of the band’s catalog. “L’alliance Des Venins” is arguably the most substantial statement made by the band, and may easily be considered among the most impressive, if often overlooked, Black Metal releases of the past decade. Darvulia incorporates melody, intensity, and discordance in equal measure into the overall tapestry of its sound. Assertive passages of rapid and sprawling melody give way to mid-paced and down tempo atmospheric segments pregnant with the tension of restraint. Woven throughout the album are astounding riffs that shimmer with melancholy minor key dissonance. The effect calls to mind some of the more atonal aspects of Piggy’s playing in Voivod, but the riffs here are firmly embedded in the sweeping, sorrowful, and decidedly French, Black Metal tradition. The overall impact is wholly unique. No other band in Black Metal quite utilizes shifts in tempo and prominently misaligned harmonies to such tremendous effect. The production on “L’alliance Des Venins” also deserves comment. The album is never blown out or overdriven, leaving intact the disorienting interplay of incongruous notes while also maintaining and merging the visceral attack of each instrument. The production, like the songwriting, never incorporates any extraneous and unnecessary elements, and, in this way, Darvulia relies precisely upon those sounds needed to achieve the desired effect and nothing more. The cover art, a simple rendering of the main de gloire or hand of glory, is as evocative and austere as the music within and bespeaks the potent and mystical aura of death that the album exudes. At its summits, “L’alliance Des Venins” attains a state of grandeur and brilliance of form that casts the album alongside the greatest in the genre. Includes A-2 poster and printed inner sleeve.
Die Hard version with grey vinyl LP, gatefold jacket, A2 poster, vinyl sticker and woven patch.
Description by C. Conrad)
Although the band is entirely French in its nationality and stylistically in its brand of black metal, Darvulia likely derives its name from the Hungarian witch, Anna Darvulia, a servant of the infamous Elizabeth Bathory who is said to have provided Bathory with guidance during the most prolific period of the countess’s notorious atrocities. It is an appropriately adopted moniker, given that the band’s musical output would serve as a fitting soundtrack to the mind of a depraved psychopath. Nuclear War Now’s admiration of Darvulia’s work extends back to the band’s second full-length album from 2005, entitled “L’Alliance des Venins,” which NWN! has credited as being a masterpiece of French black metal. Despite the fact that it has been somewhat overshadowed by the band’s sophomore effort, Darvulia’s third album, “Mysticisme Macabre,” follows the same recipe established by its predecessor five years prior to the latter album’s original CD release by Battlesk’rs Productions in 2010. Another six years later, “Mysticisme Macabre” now receives its first release on vinyl LP format, courtesy of a joint endeavor between Nuclear War Now! and Battlesk’rs Productions.
As with Darvulia’s previous album, “Mysticisme Macabre” is most effective in its entrancing, repetitive song structures. Individual songs tend to abruptly alternate between blisteringly-fast and hypnotically-languid tempos. In combination with the unsettling effect of these contrasting tempo shifts, the riffs further disorient the listener with their unyielding and cyclical progressions among atonal, tremolo-picked chords and dissonantly arpeggiated sequences of notes. Rather than attempt to impress its audience with an unending barrage of constantly changing intracacies, Darvulia instead chooses to leave its mark with the narcotic reduplication of this proven formula. In addition, the abrasively throaty vocals present throughout greatly contribute to the overall portentous nature of the music. Occasionally, as in “Le Rituel des Sept Serpents,” two separate vocal tracks recorded in alternate pitches and deliveries are asynchronously superimposed over each other to further magnify a song’s discomposing outcome. The synthesis of these elements results in an album that serves to confirm Darvulia’s inarguably significant residence in the canon of French black metal.
Limited pressing of 250 copies on black vinyl + insert
Sektarism's part recorded and mastered in august 2013 at Drudenhaus studio by Xort.
Layout by MystiK Dementia.
Quote from J. Campbell:
Often overlooked, but never disappointing, DARVULIA has consistently produced some of the most unique Black Metal of the last decade. The band’s sparse catalog reflects its dedication to and the complexity of its work. The material on this new release is a departure from the band’s previous releases, however. Consisting of a single, 17-minute track of ritualistic and atmospheric improvisational music that defies simple categorization, Darvulia’s side of this split finds the band exploring more ritual and ambient territory. SEKTARISM, a band that also hails from France, provides a sprawling 20-minute track for the B-side of this release. Sektarism’s unique brand of bleak, ceremonial doom is an appropriate rejoinder to Darvulia’s morose presentation. While Darvulia’s side is sparse, Sektarism’s sound is full, oppressive, and pulverizing. It is persistent in its approach – repetitive, but not monotonous. As Sektarism’s track progresses, it breaks apart and disintegrates into noise laden bass drones that approach the minimalism that characterizes Darvulia’s side of the release. In this way, this split reflects a concerted approach by both bands to attain an atmospheric consistency will still retaining the unique stylistic flourishes of each band.